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It has been a long time since I have been wanting to recommend a restaurant. The reason being is consistency. It must be the toughest challenge restaurants face because many can’t seem to accomplish it. So why this restaurant and why now? Easy, let me count the ways:
1. The owners (Tom & George) are the nicest people you could ever meet. They greet you at the door in order for you to feel welcomed and appreciated for coming to their establishment. They were born in Greece and have that beautiful European flair!
2. The wait staff are kind, patient (my girl friend has a laundry list of how she wants her drinks, etc.), and they desire that you have a wonderful experience at their restaurant. Frank (one of the waiters) has been with them forever, but you can’t tell because he treats the guest as if it were his first day on the job. His happiness is contagious!
3. The Food is delicious! My biggest struggle is what to eat, because all of the dishes are prepared so well! Be forewarned, their Cioppino will make you feel as though you are in Genoa, Italy (its origin). It is that good! It will make you want to save up your money to go there.
4. The price is much lower than what I would charge if it were my restaurant. I think they could charge more, but they want people to return often.
5. Their outdoor patio is beautiful. It will make you feel as though you are on vacation.

Take my advice, quit going to restaurants that don’t care whether you go back or not. Spend your time and money wisely. Visit Citron Bistro! I am glad I did!

Fashion from the runway to the stores, what a great concept!

The high-end stores (Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom) have the fashions available soon after they appear on the runway, but there are a few affordable stores that have them fairly quickly as well. Target, the Gap, and Anthropologie seem to be the quickest to get them on the shelves.

1st “must have” Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren Jeans are jeans with patches. Of course, none compare to the Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren jeans ($398) that I think I saw in Glamour magazine. They are beautiful! I tried to locate something similar, but couldn’t find anything like them! I even searched on-line and in local stores, but no luck. So I decided to copy the concept and make them myself. I use the word “make” very loosely. Attached is a picture of the Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren jeans so you can see what I have been searching for.

2nd “must have” are jeans that have a metallic look. I bought a pair last Fall at Guess. I really like how they fit so I wore them quite often. This season (2014), I found a comparable pair at Target (right now, August 21, 2014, you can purchase the second pair for 50% off, which brought them down to around $22.00). The jeans are actually jean leggings. They look and fit great. They are part of the Mossimo collection and they come in three colors, which are black, navy, and burgundy. I bought the burgundy color (one of my most favorite colors). Now all I have to do is wait for the cooler weather. It will be here before I know it!

Judge Judy is number one on my top ten list of people that I would like to meet. What I love about Judge Judy is that she is able to take a complex problem and get to the root of the matter. Her world is quite definitive and she doesn’t listen to all of the noise that surrounds her. For example, you are either telling the truth or if it doesn’t make sense, then it is a lie. I have adopt her saying when questioning my children regarding what they have been up to on their iPods. I am able to get the truth most of the time. I also like it that she doesn’t get caught up in the person’s drama. Many times she even says that she doesn’t care about their drama and if they need to discuss it then go on the Dr. Phil show. How many people do you know can get away with saying that to someone who is always surrounding themselves around drama and needs to give detailed information?

Not only have I been entertained by Judge Judy’s sense of humor, but I have learned numerous things. For instance:
* Don’t lend money, instead just give it to the person because they probably won’t be in a position to pay it back.
* Never sign a year lease with another person. If they leave, then you will be stuck with the bill.
* Courts only split up assets if you are a married couple. If you cohabitate, do it at your own risk!
* If you make a legal agreement with someone get it in writing. Don’t rely on a text because your phone may get lost, stolen, or broken and then you won’t have evidence to bring to court.
* Bring your evidence to court because you are not going to the beach!

In the next few weeks I am going to test her theories out on my family and see if I can quiet some of the noise!

Business Cards printed by Office Max

Business Cards printed by Office Max

I am hearing my mom’s voice saying “you get what you pay for” and boy is she right!

At the beginning of the year, I found an extremely gifted and affordable logo designer (Jun Verallo at jun.verallo@gmail.com) who was able to bring my vision to life. I decided to save some money so I ordered my business cards on-line. All I can say is that it was a horrible decision! Consequently, I decided to use Office Max seeing as I have been a long time satisfied customer. I felt confident that I would receive beautiful cards. Unfortunately, they weren’t.

I went into the print shop at Office Max and was greeted by Melanie Dale (She always delivers amazing customer service!). She took one look at the cards and placed a call into the printing plant (Taylor Corporation fulfills the orders.). After a few minutes speaking with a young woman, she transferred us to the Customer Care Manager (Kelly Mcloughlin). I was not prepared for the level of service I was about to receive from Kelly.

I first have to say that it is sad that we live in an era that when someone delivers phenomenal service that it’s shocking. Kelly did just that! He was kind, patient, understood the problem, and more importantly was willing to do whatever it would take in order to ensure that I would receive beautiful cards. I have deep respect for people who don’t do the bare minimum. Kelly is one of those people.

I think it is so important for us to take the time to thank people who make a difference in our lives because they are rarely paid what they are worth. So I want to thank you Kelly for taking it to an unexpected level. Jun, I want to thank you for taking the time to understand my vision and bringing it to life. Lastly, but not least, thank you Melanie for greeting me with a smile and always giving me your best!

My thoughts….shop at Office Max! AND if you need a gifted logo designer send an email to Jun Verallo at jun.verallo@gmail.com. He will change your life in ways that you can’t even imagine!

Every year I get a palm on Palm Sunday. Invariably, at least one of my students (that are quite young) will bring a palm to class. While I am teaching, the child will make a palm cross in a matter of minutes. Being an insomniac, I thought that I would make good use of my extra time and learn how to make a palm cross. What I ended up learning were two hard lessons!

The first, is that I can’t follow simple instructions. I went on a couple of websites that had written step by step instructions. I failed miserably! So I decided to find a website that had step by step instructions with diagrams. I was still unsuccessful. The more I tried, the more determined I became to make the cross. After searching several websites, I finally found one that had step by step instructions, a diagram, and a video! Thank God (and I mean literally speaking) that he created the person who invented videos and the person who had the knowledge to post them on the internet. I was finally successful. It doesn’t look pretty like the one on the video, but just the same it’s a palm cross.

The second, is that children should be in charge of more difficult tasks than making up their beds and cleaning their rooms. They are brilliant! Starting tomorrow, I am going to start using my children’s brains to solve problems that I seem to have difficulty with. I am confident that they will come up with viable solutions and their advice will be free of charge!

Everyone out there who needs step by step instructions, diagrams, and a video, this link is for you!
http://www.concordiasupply.com/Articles/How-to-Make-a-Palm-Cross

Good Luck & Blessings!

Last week, my girlfriend, Murisa and I met up for lunch.  She is the type of girlfriend that you never want to be caught dead on one of your “bad hair” days or “I hate all the clothes in my closet” days.  I always think that it could not be possible for Murisa to look any better…. that was until last week.  She showed up wearing a black top (with a zipper in the front), tuxedo pants (of course JCrew), and leopard print heals (I am sure JCrew as well because they were so cute).  This sounds like a simple outfit right?  WRONG!  It looked amazing and so did she!  Simple outfit, but it had great impact.

Since our lunch, I have been researching where you can purchase the pants.  Here are a few places at different price points:

  • Of course JCrew priced at $98.00
  • Sanctuary at 6pm.com priced at $41.99
  • Macy’s  Juniors Skinny Tuxedo priced at $49.99
  • Forever Tuxedo Strip Skinny Pant priced at $24.80

This is a “must have” that you can wear Fall, Winter, & Spring!  Like I said, an outfit that is simple, but has great impact!  Leave it to Murisa!

“Time Out”

I have been using the “time out” method since my children were in the toddler stage.  Now that my children are preteens, I am finding that “time outs” are no longer effective.  A few months ago, I asked my daughter to pick up her belongings from the entry of our home.  The way she reacted was as though I was asking for the impossible.  I thought a simple “time out” would give her the opportunity to think about her behavior.  I peeked into her bedroom a few minutes later.  What I saw, left me speechless!  It was a girl, happy as she could be, acting as if I sent her on a mini-vacation!  I realized, at that moment, that the only person suffering from the “time out” was me because the items were still on the floor where she left them.

I would like to share with you a strategy that I learned from my friends, Bob and Cindy.  They are what I would call “successful parents”.  You know the kind.  The kind that you can see the results of their efforts (raised happy, healthy, loving, independent adults, etc.).  Not only did I get a beautiful meal, served by Cindy, but I also received some valuable advice.  So any parent who is having my same dilemma, here is what they shared with me:

House Rules 

  • You leave an item out, after I have asked you to pick it up, then it will go into a box.  You want the item back, then you need to buy it back from me.
  • Everyone in the family will complete chores and will be paid an allowance.  If you do not complete the chores, then you will not earn an allowance, and therefore you will be unable to buy your items back.
  • You can earn additional money if you complete additional chores.

Since instituting this new rule, I have seen a huge difference in the behavior of everyone in the household.  It takes less time and energy on my part to keep our home clean thanks to Bob and Cindy!  Now, the only struggle I have is “follow-through”.  A topic for another day………..